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Home > News > Green dream: A world in a grain of sand

February 4th, 2009

Green dream: A world in a grain of sand

Abstract:
On a cool winter day, Emirati engineer Fahd Mohammad Saeed Hareb peers into a bubble of water atop a tiny pile of sand cupped in his hands.

Amazingly, the water bubble does not drain through the sand - it remains intact, jiggling like crystal clear Jello, under a high-noon sun.

This is waterproof sand - or as German scientist Helmut F. Schulze calls it - hydrophobic sand, a nanotechnology wonder seven years in the making.

Green Dream

The scientific breakthrough may hold one more key in fulfilling the dream of Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Nahyan, late President of the UAE, to green the desert and beat back shifting dunes of desertification.

Shaikh Zayed "faced the problem of water shortage wisely and patiently", said the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi, by building enormous dams to collect rainwater, vast irrigation systems and water reclamation systems such as drip irrigation on farms.

Hareb and his family company DIME Hydrophobic Materials have joined forces with Schulze to continue Shaikh Zayed's vision to not only green the UAE, but also to reduce water consumption by up to three quarters.

"It is my dream to make the Arab world completely green," said Schulze from the DIME laboratory in Al Ain flanked by Hareb and product marketing partner Marco Russ of Flexon Trading Middle East.

Source:
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